Five Elements That Can Damage Your Frames

With summer in full swing, the extreme temperatures in parts of the country may have you wondering how to protect your outdoor plants or furniture, but extreme temperatures and modern technology used to combat them can damage your indoor frames as well.

See below a list of five elements that can damage your modern oval frames or vintage picture frames over the years, and how to protect them so they last a lifetime and protect your precious art.

Acid and Lignin. Found in adhesives and certain types of wood respectively, these two products can cause damage to your art or frame with an improper mat or packaging materials, and lignin can cause photos to yellow over time. This solution is an easy one - choose mats and adhesives marked “photo safe” to ensure that they are acid-free.

Insects. Insects can become a problem, especially in warmer months. If your frames have cracks, are damaged or just not well put together, insects can find their way in and make nests, feed on the materials, and ruin your frame and your piece. To prevent this, check your frames regularly for cracks or signs of insect wear and tear, and have an exterminator come treat your home if you suspect anything.

Moisture. In particularly humid areas, moisture can be a real problem for frames. Photographs are especially prone to something called blocking, where they become so humid that they become sticky, and can glue themselves to the glass of the frame. Trying to remove these photos can cause irreparable harm. Photos can also curl or yellow with too much moisture. To prevent this, simply keep your most valuable frames with older photographs in a climate-controlled area with low humidity, and consider spacers that can keep your photos away from the glass.

Heat. Direct sunlight and heated lighted can really damage your frames or photos. It can cause the colors to warp and deteriorate, or the art or photos inside to yellow or fade. To prevent this, it’s important to keep your frames in a cool room away from direct sunlight and keep the lighting used to around them to non-heat inducing bulbs.

Air pollutants. Air pollutants found in paint, household cleaners or even the photo paper your photos are printed on can all cause harmful damage to your frames and photos. Be sure to use correct materials and high-quality photo paper for printing, and let freshly painted rooms dry for two weeks or so before rehanging frames. Also never use chemicals on your frames or photos that can destroy them. Take care to only use approved liquids or types of cloth to clean them depending on the type of frame you have. 

26th Feb 2020 Eric Morgan

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